6 Ways to gain a wider view of technology

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4. At technical conferences, learn something new
Next time you go to a technical conference, go outside your comfort zone. For example, if you go to a conference specializing in Microsoft technologies and you are a .NET software developer, go to a session on Windows 8 internals, SharePoint Administration, or Introduction to SQL Server. Unless the discussion is totally beyond your technical comprehension, you can pick up some great background information on a new technology (well, new for you). The beauty of taking this approach at conferences is that it can help you get your money’s worth, even during those specific session times when none of the offerings match your specific technical needs.

5. Volunteer for cross-department committees and new technical initiatives
Yes, agreeing to participate in cross-department IT initiatives adds more activities to a probably already overloaded schedule, but participation in these initiatives can also give you exposure to technologies, business processes, and people outside your primary job responsibilities. This exposure, in addition to widening your technical knowledge, can also provide you with business contacts that can help you get promoted.

6. Do a web search using multiple key words
Try doing web searches using your technology and other technologies within the same search. For example, if you want to learn more about C++ and its relationship with Windows 8, do a web search on “C++ and Windows 8”. If you would rather watch a movie than read a blog post add the word “YouTube” to your web search. I, of course, used Microsoft related products in this example, but this process, as I’m sure you know, will work equally as well on any combination of technologies and/or vendors.

If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at
eric@ManagerMechanics.com
or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.

Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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